Jacinda Ardern with Neve

How Jacinda Ardern’s resignation will impact mothers everywhere

In Features, Life, Motherhood, Stories by Jessica Jane Sammut

Jacinda Ardern quits, proving we don’t have to try to be superwomen – because we already are.

By Jessica Jane Sammut, Founder of Mama Disrupt

When it comes to leading the way in walking away, Jacinda Ardern couldn’t be clearer. Stepping down as the Prime Minister of New Zealand, citing her family and lack of energy to continue in her role, Jacinda is busting the myth that mothers need to ‘do it all’.

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, has made a surprise statement that she will be stepping down from her role, declaring that she is no longer able to give the job her all. “I think it’s time,” she added.

It gives rise to a new philosophy for mothers around the world:

What Would Jacinda Do?…

Demonstrating to women and mothers across the globe that it is ok to listen to how they feel and what is right for them (instead of doing what might be expected), Jacinda is a role model in her decision to walk away from that which does not serve her.

After all, if Jacinda can walk away, there is hope for us all.

Jacinda Ardern with Neve

Jacinda Ardern with daughter, Neve

Dispelling the notion that mothers are ‘superwomen’ who have to prove their worth through their sacrifice of themselves, Jacinda has in fact, shown that we don’t have to live to such impossible standards.

“I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple,” she said.

We’re not superwomen. We’re human. And we don’t need to wear ‘overwhelm’ or ‘burnout’ as a badge of honour to prove our worth.

Asserting she has given all she can, Jacinda took time over the Summer break to reflect on whether or not she had the energy to remain in her role, and her conclusion was that she did not.

Jacinda explained that her only foreseeable plans are to devote more time to her family, expressing her gratitude to her daughter Neve, who has, in her words, had to make the most sacrifices during Jacinda’s time in office.

“Mum is looking forward to being there when you start school this year,” she said, referring to Neve, of her decision to call it quits.

After all, motherhood is so much simpler when you do what works for you and your family.

Jacinda Ardern at the UN General Assembly with Neve

Jacinda Ardern at the UN General Assembly with Neve, 3 months, in 2018

In 2017, at the age of 37, Ardern was chosen to be the world’s youngest female head of government when she was elected Prime Minister. During her time in office, she lead New Zealand through Covid-19, as well as dealing with tragic events such as the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch and the volcanic eruption at White Island.

During her time in office as Prime Minister, Jacinda gave birth to Neve, and famously made history as the first female world leader to bring a baby to a UN General Assembly in 2018.

The end date for her time as Prime Minister will be no later than 7 February 2023, yet she will retain her position as a Member of Parliament until the election transpires this year.

When questioned about how she would like to be remembered as a leader, Ardern answered that she wished to be remembered as someone who always strived to be compassionate.

Jacinda Ardern with children

Jacinda is choosing herself

An outstanding example of leadership to the world, proving that empathy, courage, strength and intelligence are essential qualities of a great leader, Jacinda Ardern is still inspiring many, even as she exits the global stage.

Thank you Jacinda for showing what it is to choose yourself.

Thank you for reminding us it’s possible.